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Old 09-14-2019, 08:20 PM
SamuelA is offline
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,708
Originally Posted by PoppaSan View Post
How is Social Security retirement not a form of UBI? You get it just by getting old and having worked or by being married to a worker at some point (with minimum time limits.) SSI covers the impoverished that never worked or married or otherwise is covered by social security payments. Except for SSI there is no means testing and your payments are based on your former standard of living (you make more, you pay in more, you get back more.) I'm speaking here in a general sense, not everyone is the same. Once you get above a certain age, wages are no longer held against you either.
The theory is, beneficiaries of social security are the deserving poor. They earned it or had something happen to them that means they can't earn it.

The reason people under the SS retirement age don't get help is the theory is, if they are able bodied (not completely disabled), they can get work. This has not actually been true during major recessions and depressions, during many times in U.S. history able bodied, competent workers were not finding work.

Nevertheless, during good times, everyone who is able bodied can usually eventually find a job of some sort. Well, except for the other bug we have in our system - if you've been unemployed a while, or you've run completely out of money and can't afford a home or ability to take a shower or wear clean clothes, it becomes nearly impossible to get a job. (one of the reasons for long term homeless)

Similarly, in today's world, if you are an unskilled or semi-skilled laborer, you're basically dogmeat and are next to worthless as far as employers are concerned. Yet just a few months of training in a trade skill would skyrocket your value to employers...but trade schools require tuition and time and if you're poor and homeless you have neither.

The USA is now wealthy enough that we could afford this. The mean income (including all the top earners who are millionaires and billionaires) is 48k a year. So the 12k a year 1000 a month would cost is clearly there in the present economic system, in a sort of Communist wealth spreading scheme. (on paper UBI could be as high as 2-3k a month but obviously this wouldn't work because all the money would be spread evenly and no one would have an incentive to work at all)

But the theory is that everyone needs to do their part, and if we have people loafing when they are abled bodied, then the goods and services they are consuming got produced by other people who are not loafing. And thus they are "stealing" for the community and we can't have that.

This has only been sorta true for about a century.

And with extreme automation, something we don't have but theorize is possible, all goods and services, save just a few things, would be produced by automated machines. So someone "loafing" on UBI is really just costing some time from a set of robots somewhere for most goods and services they consume. In turn, they are "stealing" from the IP owners and landowners of the land where the solar/wind energy was gathered to power the robotics/industrial equipment, and who own the IP*. (which, like all IP, can be copied endlessly without depriving the original)

*long term, you as a human are not consuming anything but energy. Every material you use gets thrown away and is still somewhere on earth and could in principle be recycled back into a good that someone else uses.

Last edited by SamuelA; 09-14-2019 at 08:23 PM.